Hepatitis A Virus

CDC Facts

        Bloodborne Pathogen                  

Hepatitis A Virus (HAV)

The abstract information on this page taken directly from CDC data

Signs & Symptoms of Hepatitis A Disease

Adults infected with HAV will have signs and symptoms more often than children.

Symptoms of HAV infection include:  jaundice, fatigue, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, diarrhea and fever.

Long-Term Effects of Hepatitis A Disease

There is no chronic (long-term) infection.

Once you have had HAV you cannot get it again.

About 15% of people infected with HAV will have prolonged or relapsing symptoms over a 6-9 month period.

Transmission of Hepatitis Disease

HAV is found in the stool (feces) of persona with Hepatitis A.

HAV is usually spread from person-to-person by putting something in the mouth (even though it may look clean) that has been contaminated with the stool of a person with hepatitis A.

Persons at Risk of Infection for Hepatitis A Disease

Household contacts of infected persons

Sex contacts of infected persons

Persons, especially children, living in areas with increasing rates of HAV during the baseline period from 1987-1997

Persons traveling to countries where HAV is common

Men who have sex with men

Injecting and non-injecting drug users

Prevention of Hepatitis A Disease

HAV vaccine is the best protection.

Short-term protection against HAV is available from immune globulin.  It can be given before and within 2 weeks after coming in contact with HAV.

Always wash your hands with soap and water after using the bathroom, changing a diper, and before preparing and eating food.

Vaccine Recommendations for Hepatitis A Disease

Vaccine for HAV is recommended for the following persons 2 years of age and older:

     Travelers to areas with increased rates of HAV

     Men who have sex with men

     Injecting and non-injecting drug users

     Persons with clotting-factor disorders (e.g., hemophilia)

     Persons with chronic liver disease

     Children living in areas with increased rates of HAV during the baseline period of 1987-1997

For more information on the Hepatitis A Virus (HAV) Disease

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